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December 04, 2017

Washington's daring Christmas Day crossing of Delaware River recreated in Bucks County

Re-enactors use replicas of the boats used in 1776

Family-Friendly History
Washington Crossing R. Kennedy/Visit Philadelphia™

History buffs get into the spirit of the season when they witness Washington crossing the Delaware River, a re-enactment staged on Christmas Day at Washington Crossing Historic Park in Bucks County.

On the night of Dec. 25, 1776, Gen. George Washington and a small army of around 2,400 men crossed the Delaware River to attack Hessian troops in Trenton, N.J.

Washington's victory raised troop moral and the spirits of the American colonists.

Today, the site of the crossing in Bucks County is a National Historic Landmark. On the Pennsylvania side of the river, there is a historic park and museum.

Each Christmas, Washington Crossing Historic Park hosts a re-enactment of the crossing.

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The free event features around 200 re-enactors dressed in Continental military garb, with one acting as Washington. They row across the Delaware River in replicas of the Durham boats used in 1776.

On Christmas, the re-enactment takes place at 1 p.m., but attendees are encouraged to come early to secure a spot to watch and to stay after for speeches and commemorative activities.

Those who can't make it on Christmas have another option. There will also be a re-enactment on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 1 p.m. Plus, special colonial-era activities and demonstrations occur throughout the day. Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for children age 5-11. Proceeds support future park programs.

UPDATE: Due to low water levels, the Durham boats will not be launched on Sunday, Dec. 10. All other activities will still take place, including drills and demonstrations. Washington Crossing Historic Park made the announcement on Facebook.

First Crossing Reenactment

Sunday, Dec. 10
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | $4-$8 per person
Washington Crossing Historic Park
1112 River Road, Washington Crossing, PA

65th Annual Christmas Day Crossing Reenactment

Monday, Dec. 25
Noon to 3 p.m. | Free
Washington Crossing Historic Park

1112 River Road, Washington Crossing, PA